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links for 2009-09-07

Monday, September 7, 2009
  • "As neoliberal ideology has dominated Chinese intellectual scene for the last quarter century, there is no shortage of Cato Institute and RDI followers among Chinese intellectuals. Many of them have joined forces to push for land privatization. While much of such “advocacy” is under the pretense of peasant interests, it really serves the interest of China’s ruling elites."
  • While I don't support President Ahmadinejad it should be kept in mind that:

    "After Bush’s second inauguration in January 2005, the National Security Council had an intense internal debate regarding Iran. The conflict did not centre on whether there should be a regime change in Iran, but rather, whether to employ soft or hard power to achieve it…Eventually, the president’s military advisors ended the debate when they cautioned Bush that with the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, engaging Iran militarily would be highly risky and draining for the US armed forces.

    “Between 2005-2009, the US Congress appropriated more than $400m for State Department programmes designed to ‘promote democracy’, among other means of employing soft power in Iran. This was implemented, in part, by funding the activities of Iranian dissident groups. ” (‘Iran and Washington’s hidden hand’ by Esam Al-Amin, Counterpunch, 30 June 2009)"

  • "A minister on Sunday urged politicians to settle their differences to pave the way for the enactment of a new constitution.

    National Planning assistant minister Peter Kenneth said a new constitution was unlikely to be achieved because politicians were yet to agree even on the non-contentious issues."

  • "In the past few years, the military has mounted a virtual invasion into the lives of young Americans. Using data mining, stealth websites, career tests, and sophisticated marketing software, the Pentagon is harvesting and analyzing information on everything from high school students' GPAs and SAT scores to which video games they play. Before an Army recruiter even picks up the phone to call a prospect like Travers, the soldier may know more about the kid's habits than do his own parents."

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